THE APOCALYPSE CODEX by Charles Stross
Best of 2012

THE APOCALYPSE CODEX

KIRKUS REVIEW

Fourth in the series (The Fuller Memorandum, 2010, etc.) about the Laundry: a weirdly alluring blend of superspy thriller, deadpan comic fantasy and Lovecraftian horror.

In the universe Stross has conjured up, supernatural nasties are real, so naturally the British government has a department to deal with them. (The U.S. equivalent is known as the Nazgûl.) The Laundry, a department so secret that anybody that stumbles upon its existence is either compulsorily inducted or quietly eliminated, seems quintessentially British: the executive offices, known as Mahogany Row, remain eerily empty; forms must be signed in blood; and there are grandiloquent code names for everything. Applied computational demonologist Bob Howard has been fast tracked into management, having survived a series of dangerous and unpleasant encounters. His boss, James Angleton, an Eater of Souls (Don't ask. Really.), worries about CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN, but there's a more immediate problem: Raymond Schiller, a supernaturally charismatic American televangelist, has grown uncomfortably chummy with the prime minister, but by convention and statute the Laundry may not investigate the office they answer to. So Bob finds himself working with "Externalities" in the shape of Persephone Hazard, an extremely powerful witch, and her sidekick Johnny McTavish, who has particular experience with creepy religious cults. Equipped with an unlimited credit card and a camera that doubles as a basilisk gun, Bob jets off to Denver to investigate and runs into an organization run by parasitic brain-sucking isopods—which turns out to be the least of his worries. Stross' irreverent, provocative, often unsettling and undeniably effective brew seethes with allusions to other works of literature, film, music and what-all—it's integral to the fun.

Readers familiar with Stross' dazzling science fiction should relish this change of pace and direction. 

Pub Date: July 3rd, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-937007-46-1
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Ace/Berkley
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2012




BEST FICTION OF 2012:

Fiction THE COVE by Ron Rash
by Ron Rash
Mystery BLOODLAND by Alan Glynn
by Alan Glynn
Fiction ACCIDENTS OF PROVIDENCE by Stacia M. Brown
by Stacia M. Brown
Fiction AMERICAN DERVISH by Ayad Akhtar
by Ayad Akhtar

MORE BY CHARLES STROSS

Sci-FiNEPTUNE'S BROOD by Charles Stross
by Charles Stross
Sci-FiTHE RAPTURE OF THE NERDS by Charles Stross
by Cory Doctorow
Sci-FiRULE 34 by Charles Stross
by Charles Stross

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

Sci-FiRAISING STEAM by Terry Pratchett
by Terry Pratchett
Sci-FiTHE REVOLUTIONS by Felix Gilman
by Felix Gilman
Sci-FiTHE SKINNER by Neal Asher
by Neal Asher